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Oregon

Wildwood Trail

The Wildwood Trail is a 30-mile natural surface pedestrian trail winding through the lush forest of Portland's northwest hills. Providing unmatched opportunities to wander, Wildwood Trail transports hikers and runners from Portland’s urban core into more than 5,200 acres of native northwest forest and is the backbone of an 80-mile trail system. The Wildwood Trail can be accessed by car, bike, bus, or foot, and can be part of an hour’s excursion or a full day hike, end-to-end—a popular challenge for long-distance hikers and runners! The Wildwood Trail is managed by Portland Parks & Recreation in close partnership with Forest Park Conservancy.

photo: Wildwood Trail below Pittock Mansion, Forest Park, Portland, OR. Photo courtesy of Lucy Cohen, 2019.

Length: 30.20 miles
Loop Trail? No
Type: Nature Trail
Agency: City, Town, or County
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

Allowed Uses:

Dogs - On leash
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Wildlife Observation

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Location: In Portland's Forest Park
State(s): Oregon
Counties: Multnomah
Longitude: -122.71671
Latitude: 45.51274

Driving Directions

Located minutes from downtown Portland, Forest Park has more than 40 trailheads and access points. Visit Portland Parks & Recreation's website for more information.

Description

The Wildwood Trail is a 30.2-mile natural surface pedestrian trail within Portland’s extensive trail network. Designated not only as a National Recreation Trail but also part of Metro’s Regional Trail Network, Wildwood Trail provides unparalleled recreation and transportation opportunities within Portland city limits.

The trail follows the gentle contours of the Tualatin Mountains, punctuated by the steep climb to the historic Pittock Mansion (1,000 ft elevation!) and a descent into Balch Creek Canyon, to run along one of Forest Park’s only fish-bearing streams. The trail meanders in and out of drainages offering views steeped in dense fog or dappled sunlight, depending on the season. In spring, the hillsides are alight with trilliums, ocean spray, and fringe cup. Hundreds of species of native plants and wildlife find refuge in Forest Park.

The Wildwood Trail was dreamed up in the early 1980s by a group of visionary and hardworking volunteers and Portland Parks & Recreation staff. Through close collaboration between Portland Parks & Recreation and the Friends of Forest Park (now Forest Park Conservancy), property acquisitions, and hard work, it was completed in 1999, just following Forest Park’s 50th anniversary.

The Wildwood Trail begins at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington Park, easily accessible from downtown. After winding for 3 miles through the native forest and ornamental collections of Hoyt Arboretum, the trail crosses West Burnside Street on the Barbara Walker Crossing, constructed in 2019, and enters Forest Park.

From there, the Wildwood Trail climbs steeply to Pittock Mansion, which features breathtaking views of the city and is open to public visitation. It then descends into Balch Creek Canyon, which hosts resident cutthroat trout and coastal giant salamanders. Passing by the Stone House, a decommissioned public restroom constructed in the 1930s and popular visitor destination, the trail climbs out of the canyon and northwards toward its terminus at NW Newberry Rd.

Wildwood Trail is marked every quarter-mile by blue diamond-shaped blazes and mile markers showing the distance from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial trailhead. Wildwood Trail is a pedestrian-only trail, open to walkers, hikers, runners, and dogs on-leash. The Wildwood Trail is managed by Portland Parks & Recreation. Maintenance work is done through a close partnership between Portland Parks & Recreation and Forest Park Conservancy staff and volunteers.

Additional Details

Width: 48 inches.
Primary Surface: Soil, Compacted
Secondary Surface: Crushed Rock
Gravel

Average Grade: 8%
Maximum Grade: 25%
Elevation Low Point: 200
Elevation High Point: 1,100
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available

Year Designated:
1975

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Trail Management:
Portland Parks & Recreation
4000 SW Fairview Blvd
Portland, OR 97221
http://https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/42336

 

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